The Ontario government has unveiled the first update to the province’s sex education curriculum since the invention of Google in 1998. So antiquated was the existing syllabus that it did not even reflect the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada more than a decade ago.
“We’re very committed to this,” Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters after speaking to a rural Ontario municipal conference in Toronto.
Everything in the curriculum is “age appropriate” and “it’s done in a way kids can understand,” said Wynne, adding it’s important for kids as young as Grade 1 to learn about “different lifestyles and different family configurations.”
In the case of a girl with two dads, for example, “if her family is not reflected in the conversations . . . that’s going to be a problem” because the girl would feel left out.
Wynne, the first openly gay premier in Canadian history and a former education minister, has long championed a revised curriculum.
But a revamp planned for five years ago was scrapped by then premier Dalton McGuinty due an outcry by a vocal minority of social conservatives.
“It needs to be about kids feeling safe, feeling protected and feeling like they belong,” said Wynne. As first disclosed by the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn on Sunday, the modernized curriculum is designed to keep children safe from abuse by educating them